Friday, May 10, 2013

A project blessing and charity

Well, we had a very good (if very "loaded") series of formation classes with Dr. Sherri Brown on the synoptic Gospels, and I had my long-awaited meeting with Deacon Tim Elliott and Deacon Jim Lawson. At first, I was quite nervous and I didn't know what to expect, although in hindsight, the meeting itself wasn't much to be worried about.

As everyone knows who reads this blog, I have been concerned for some time to find a summer project that would fulfill the 30 hours of service which is being asked for by the bishop. I am grateful to God that a project has been given to me, and while I don't know if that project will fulfill a full 30 hours, I know it will fulfill a good chunk of it considering how long it takes me to research and write a good post. I have been asked to be the primary (certainly not the only) blogger for a few months on the Diocese of Knoxville's blog dedicated to our 25th Anniversary, Life at 25. (You can see my first two posts in that assignment here and here). I asked Deacon Tim if I could use the time that I put into Life at 25 as a summer project, and he said that he would accept that. I am thrilled to have the assignment, but I also know that in this case, my strength is my weakness, because I have taken on a project that is all about the use of words, long an admitted strength.

As Deacon Tim has very rightly pointed out to me, however, the "third leg" of the mission of the diaconate is charity, and he made it rather clear, I think, that the ability to render charity in some form is something that he is looking for, and he should-one of the things we are reminded of in the Ordination Rite is that we are to be conformed to Christ, who came not to be served, but to serve. Hence, I am actively looking for a way to render some charity, and not merely because it is being asked of me, but because I know that as a deacon, it will be an integral part of my ministry and I want to reflect Christ's love to as many people as I can.

I am hoping that my writing this summer will bless a lot of people, and that the Lord might give me another opportunity to give people who need it a blessing also.


  1. Congratulations! This is wonderful news!

    I am so happy that Deacon Tim and Deacon Jim have the wisdom and the understanding of your God-given gifts to allow you to do this for your summer project, rather than something which would not put to use your great ability for inspirational writing!

    When you say that they are telling you that the "the 'third leg' of the mission of the diaconate is charity," this must be what they are telling all of the aspirants, at this point, as your writings are packed full of God's love for the reader. That's why we keep coming back for more!

    "Life at 25 - The Diocese of Knoxville" is a great place for your good work to be presented to the many Catholics of East Tennessee! The articles you have already posted there are very good!

    We are praying that this goes well for you this summer and that you enjoy your work immensely! Just don't be surprised if some of the other aspirants aren't a little envious!

  2. Thanks for the great article on the Handmaids of the Precious Blood, with special thanks for the great pictures!

  3. Anons;

    Thank you so much for your kind words to me and in regards to my little work. I am gladdened that you are blessed by them, and I hope you'll keep reading. By the way, in case anyone as wondered, just because I am posting at Life at 25 does not mean that this blog will go dormant. I still intend to post here as I have time while working on this project.

    Finally, the pictures were taken by Stephanie Richer of the East Tennessee Catholic and Stephanie Richer photography, who does an outstanding job. She's really to thank for them.

  4. I am deeply troubled by an article on today, which says, if I understand it correctly, that our new Pope Francis is telling atheists that, if only they will do good, they will go to heaven, just the same as the followers of Christ.

    The Bible does not say this!!! Quite the contrary! And, if our new Pope is misleading the people of the world in this way, to think that doing good, rather than adhering to the teachings of Christ, will lead them to heaven, may God have mercy on his soul! His personal mission on earth should be to attempt to lead all of the people of the world to a saving knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ!

    I am so happy that you are centering your writings, in "Life at 25 - The Diocese of Knoxville" on our Lord Jesus Christ and on his teachings. He doesn't say, in sacred scripture, that all we need to do go to heaven is to keep doing good. He says that we must repent and accept him as our personal savior, turn from sin, and be saved! Salvation, going to heaven, is through Him, alone, not from doing good.

    If anything is to redeem the Catholic Church on earth today, it is an all-out surrender to and embrace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and to every word that his holy scriptures admonish us to do. We need to be listening to him through prayer and through reading of his word, and to be spending our lives, daily, in an effort to follow him. That is what is asked of us, to follow him and him alone!

  5. Today's Anon;

    I believe CNN got it wrong, as usual. The Pope did not say is a link to what he said.

    And here is some good commentary on the Pope's words

    The secular media should not EVER be relied on to give an accurate accounting of the words of the Pope. Always go to reliably Catholic sources first.

  6. Thanks very much for this, Mr. Oatney!!!

    I wonder, could you recommend a dependable Catholic website or two, which will provide the news each day, as to what is going on in the world and how that is to be understood, in our way of thinking, as Catholics, as Christians? (I usually go to CBN news, which is good, but not Catholic.)

  7. For great Catholic news, I use:

    For spiritual enrichment (link to live television feed) (live TV) (the Papal website-thousands of documents, encyclicals, homilies, statements from Leo XIII to Pope Francis. Bible, Catechism, documents from Vatican governing bodies, and A LOT more).

  8. Thanks so very much for your more than generous provision of websites for news and for spiritual enrichment, as well!

    May God richly bless you for your wonderful gift of caring for others in a deeply pastoral way!